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2002) approach to managing brands. The mental maps guiding Ogilvy, Bernbach and Burnett designs revealed that, in their advertising, they have challenged the psycho-economic rationale by re-envisioning the equity of a brand from a mental to a social construct akin to the socio-psychological, anthropological/human and sociological/humane schools of critical branding thought respectively.
Throughout his campaigns, David Ogilvy’s main concerned was to develop strong brands through turning their economic/functional benefits into an informative, charming and coherent persona that respectfully seduces customers to choose them over competition, forming ultimately, in his own words “…an indestructible image [that] makes your brand part of the fabric of life” (Ogilvy, 1987, p.19). His vision reverberates in contemporary branding theory in the social-psychology’s Aaker (1996) and Kapferer (1997) (senderreceiver) models of brand identity communication, which view brands as speech-making personalities aiming at a congruence between their own and their customers’ personalities.
Oglivy’s transformation of this socio-psychological school of thought into compelling/creative designs will be closely examined in light of his campaign ‘the man from Schweppes’ for the British Beverages brand.
To Bernbach, markets have the power to mediate societies’ enduring human values (rooted in their culture) via brands (Fox, 1984; Levenson, 1987; Willens, 2009). In his advertising therefore he believed in advertisers’ power of persuasion when they “ally with great ideas and carry them [as brands] to the public. We must practice our skills in behalf of our society.
We must not just believe in what we sell. We must sell what we believe in”; that is what he called “genuine creativity” (Levenson, 1987, p. x, xvii). In other words, he sees advertisers’ creativity (like that of artists) as a cultural gate-keeper/trendsetter which has an ethical duty to genuinely act as the brand’s agent in facilitating/empowering customers’ active participation in the market-shaping of their societies’ culture, which resonates perfectly with the ideologies of the anthropological school of branding (McCracken,1993; McCreery, 2001; Varey, 2013).
This school advocates an egalitarian human approach to markets/economies where an active customer-market socialization (communing) process via brands is facilitated by an “ethical economy” (Arvidsson, 2007, p.16) that ensures their equitable co-production of these brands, which, in turn, provides a sustainably healthy and vibrant society/culture (Muniz & O’Guinn, 2001; Scott, 2005; Veloutsou, 2009; Bradshaw, 2013). Bernbach’s transformation of this school’s concepts into compelling/creative designs will be closely examined in light of his enduring campaign-- ‘we try harder’ --for Avis Rent-a-Car Company.
As the founder of what he called the ‘Chicago School of Advertising’(Ogilvy, 1981, p.200), Burnett avoided New York to make an ideological statement of intent that departs from the view, held in Madison Avenue, of the enduring nature of culture and the active role markets play in its sustainability (Burnett, 1966). To Burnett, culture is an active social phenomenon continuously reconstructed by its agents (our customers/people) from the raw material provided by the market and aided by advertising creativity that “…draws upon a lot of nourishment from the richness of [American] folklore, restores it, perpetuates it in a keen and lively sense” (Burnett, 1966; Ogilvy, 1983, p.200, 201; Fox, 1984). To him therefore ads are vibrant sources of brands’ “inherent drama [that] our No. 1 job is to dig for it and capitalize on it” (Ogilvy, 1983, p. 201). The Chicago School’s humane ideology mirrors that of the sociological school of brands pioneered by Holt (2004), thirty-eight years after Burnett, as the ‘cultural branding’ approach where customers become cultural agents who, in a process of myth-making (ie folklore-making) adopt brand meaning in their pursuit of social identity construction, and actively collaborate/commune with brands to pursue and develop that meaning within society, ultimately turning branding into a process of cultural activism (Holt, 2004; Holt & Cameron, 2010). Burnett’s transformation of this school’s ideology into compelling/creative designs will be closely examined in light of his folkloric animation of Tony the Tiger for Kelloggs’ Frosted-Flakes campaigns.
Theoretical implications In light of the historical-turn in marketing theory and practice (Tadajewski & Brian-Jones,
2014) this paper bridges between past and present so as to refresh and preserve the intellectual spirit of artistic brand design by narrowing the gap between the critical theories of contemporary branding thought, and the philosophical (critically-thought) creative legacies of Ogilvy, Bernbach and Burnett so as to ultimately ensure “…that we provide the appropriate gestures of our intellectual predecessors [by demonstrating that] they were sophisticated thinkers whose ideas have greater degree of commensurability (and points of disjuncture) to those that form the mainstream canon today” (p.1239, 1271).
Practical implications The paper aspires to inspire (build a case for) the development of a much needed hybrid breed of intellectual-professional (creative) designers who can synthesize complex theoretical thought with emphatic aesthetical designs to build ‘iconic/revolutionary’ brands that meet and exceed their clients’ objectives in an increasingly volatile, multifaceted and complex brandoriented societies (McCreery, 2001; Muniz & O’Guinn, 2001; Veloutsou, 2009; Holt & Cameron, 2010; Kornberger, 2010; Bradshaw, 2013).
Limitations The context of the study focuses on American advertising, as one of the world’s leading microcosms of advertising practice and scholarship, from which the world can draw parallels (Fox, 1984; Scott, 2005; O’Barr, 2010). Conscious of cultural/national particulars though, it is fully recognized that American advertising is not the only example/model of a welldeveloped advertising culture as well as Ogilvy, Bernbach and Burnett are not the only, albeit key, figures who shaped advertising creativity in America and beyond.
Originality The historical and hybrid nature of the study provides a unique re-enquiry into the creative intellect of Ogilvy, Bernbach and Burnett that revives their critical theories of ad-design from being revered in advertising literature as memorable creative executions to examine their philosophical underpinnings that provide the contemporary (critical) theory of brands with an enduring practical orientations that can help bridge the chasm between its theory and practice.
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Designing value propositions in branding a rural community Go, Frank M.
Lemmetyinen, Arja Nieminen, Lenita Purpose of the paper The purpose of this paper is to examine the power of symbols and communication in contemporary society within the European context to establish branding as a new resource for community development and the building of public-private coalitions that further community goals. The research builds on social system theory (Luhmann’s theory, 1986) and adopts discourse analysis (Mabey and Freeman (2012) as an informed method for examining leadership in place branding. A fundamental dilemma in designing value propositions to meet place-branding objectives is, in a nutshell, variety versus specificity. The visionary Steve Jobs claimed that the ‘biggest innovations in the 21st century would be at the intersection of biology and technology’ (cited in Myers, 2012). From this perspective, rural nature will complement scientific bio design, thereby allowing communities to build a strategy that addresses the need for specificity and contributes to achieving the aim of rural sustainable development. Three research questions are addressed. What should the community brand represent? How should the represented brand be marketed so as to give decision makers a perspective from which to tackle the branding dilemma between variety and specificity?
What new brand values, architecture and incentive systems should be implemented for capturing possibilities and, simultaneously, fending off attacks on the core community brand, including anti-brand sentiments?
Theoretical background It is not only an organization’s internal logic, but also and especially its collaboration with a variety of societal stakeholders that have assumed increasing importance as a mechanism for developing a reputable brand. The branding process is evolutionary (Lemmetyinen & Go
2010) and serves to enhance corporate brand equity, defined as “the set of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand, its name, symbol, that adds to or subtracts from the value provided by a product or service to a firm and/or to a firm’s customers” (Aaker 1991, p. 15).